Top 10 Funeral Songs

The Top Ten

1 Beyond the Realms of Death - Judas Priest Beyond the Realms of Death - Judas Priest Cover Art

A ballad about suicide and a guy’s thoughts, who is already at that mysterious place between life and death. He chooses to die and doesn’t want to be saved. This song is a masterpiece with perfect vocals, full of emotion. Also, the last notes of the first guitar solo break my heart.

"He had enough, he couldn't take anymore
The wind kissed him goodbye and then he died
Yeah, I've left the world behind, I'm safe here in my mind
Free to speak with my own kind
This is my life, this is my life, I'll decide not you".

2 My Last Sunrise - Demons & Wizards My Last Sunrise - Demons & Wizards Cover Art

This is a relatively new song (2000) and many of you may not know it. But this masterpiece would be a new pearl to every serious music collection. You just have to hear it - vocals alone would send shivers up and down your spine. This is probably the most intense power ballad I've ever heard - emotions are unmatched.

"These are my last words - I need to rest
In fear and anger, I'll lay down my head
A faithless spirit in a broken man
... The hope became another lie
Like the non-existing Father-God
I'll close my eyes, goodbye
Don't wait for me on the other side".

3 Fiddler On the Green - Demons & Wizards Fiddler On the Green - Demons & Wizards Cover Art

A beautiful ballad with great story and music, and mindblowing vocals. It's based on a real story - the singer saw 2 car accidents in one week at the same place and 2 kids died. The album cover is inspired by this story.
The song plot: Death took the boy's life by mistake but the girl was his soulmate in this life and “the poor old Fiddler“ came back to take her life, too - "I took him too early. Would you mind if I take you to be with you? ” “He is quite alone here and still waiting for you”.
The singer is immensely talented and every single note is a treasure. You can hear some truly funeral vocals, especially when he sings “Her face was pale, her body smashed, her beauty's gone”. Don’t miss the long scream at the end, before the guitar outro - it’s full of emotion and I think this is the last scream of the dying body. Then soul leaves the body and pain goes away. “Take my hand, just hold my hand, I'll take you there. Your pain will go away”.
A ...more

4 The Show Must Go On - Queen The Show Must Go On - Queen Cover Art

This was one of the first songs that came to my mind when I saw the list title. Freddie was dying when he sang this song and it's about his own death. You have to read between the lines because Freddie's diagnosis was still a secret.

Freddie was barely able to walk and Brian May wasn't sure whether Freddie was physically capable of singing it. But recalling Mercury's performance, May states: "I said, 'Fred, I don't know if this is going to be possible to sing.'

And he went, 'I'll f-cking do it, darling' - vodka down - and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal."

That's just mind blowing. It was Freddie's last song and I think it's his most emotional vocal performance and one of his best, if not the best.

Inside my heart is breaking.
My make-up may be flaking,
But my smile still stays on.

My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies.
Fairytales of yesterday will grow but never die.
I can fly, my friends.

5 Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden Cover Art

One of greatest songs ever written and performed. Thanks to this list I realized that 99% of my favorite songs are actually funeral songs...

"I'm waiting in my cold cell when the bell begins to chime
Reflecting on my past life and it doesn't have much time
Cause at 5 o'clock, they take me to the Gallows Pole
The sands of time for me are running low, yeah!

When the priest comes to read me the last rites
I take a look through the bars at the last sights
Of a world that has gone very wrong for me

Can it be that there's some sort of error?
Hard to stop the surmounting terror
Is it really the end, not some crazy dream?
Somebody please tell me that I'm dreaming".
... And so on.

6 Dust In the Wind - Kansas Dust In the Wind - Kansas Cover Art

Its about a man knowing he has little more to live. All the lyrics is poetry about death and how small we humans really are. No one can live forever and the time will come for everyone and everything will end one time. The final lyrics also displays that money doesn't make you imortal, nothing makes you imortal.

'' I close my eyes, only for a moment and the moments gone. All my dreams, pass before my eyes of curiosity, dust in the wind. All we are is dust in the wind. ''

7 Hurt - Johnny Cash Hurt - Johnny Cash Cover Art

Cash made a cover on the nine inch nail song 7 years later after its realese in 1995. Johnnys powerful voice makes you loose breath and you really get draged into Cashs situation, when he has nothing left and he's about to loose himself.

'' And you can have it all, my empire of dirt, I will let you down, I will make you hurt. ''

8 Knocking On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan Knocking On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan Cover Art

The original is always the best? I can agree that the more popular version of this song by Guns N' Roses is more empulsing. Altthough the original is simply amazing, Bob Dylans chilling vocals and choir makes up for a very emotional song. The song may have many different messages and it may not even have anything to do with death at all. But you can clerly see it being interrelated with heaven, hell and the afterlife.
'' Mama take this badge of o' me, I can't use it anymore, its getting dark to dark to see, I feel I'm knocking on heavens door.''

The song was written specifically for a character's death, in a movie. And Dylan gave it a far better performance than Guns 'N Roses, who did it well, despite the popularity of the band among top tenners

9 One - Metallica One - Metallica Cover Art

One of the best Metallica songs. A soldier is severely wounded - blind and unable to move and speek. He waits helplessly for his death. His only hope is to devise a way to communicate with the hospital staff.
The video's story is intercut with scenes taken from the 1971 anti-war film 'Johnny Got His Gun'.

10 Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd Cover Art

Made when the founder of Pink Floyd, Syd Barret passed away, a really obvious message but still really sad when you listen to it. I think it can be related by anyone who have lost anything, the desire to see that one person again.

'' We're just 2 lost souls swiming in a fish bowl, year after year, running over the some old ground, and how we found, the same old fear, wish you where here, ''

The Contenders

11 The Unforgiven - Metallica The Unforgiven - Metallica Cover Art

"A tired man they see no longer cares
The old man then prepares
To die regretfully
That old man here is me".

12 Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley Cover Art

I don't think I really have to say much about this song, Jeff Buckley completly owns this song, originaly made by Leonard Cohen. Jeffs chilling and uprising voice towards the middle of the song may be the most sad things you can hear in a song.Jeff putted his soul into this song and it lives on with him through eternity. R.I.P

'' And I've seen your flag on the marble arch and love is not a victory march it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah.''

This cover is not the definitive version of this song, nothing can top the original by the man who wrote it and lived it, Leonard Cohen. The only version anywhere close to Cohen's is K.D. lang's, and she puts a little female spin into it, with Rufus Wainwright's cover probably being the next best after that.

13 Yesterday - The Beatles Yesterday - The Beatles Cover Art

Its about have fast you can loose something so important and that you should never take anything for granted, one of the sadest song ever made by The Beatles and it has really powerful lyrics.

'' Yesterday, all my trouble seemed so far away, now they look as they are here to stay, oh I beileve in yesterday''

14 Cemetery Gates - Pantera Cemetery Gates - Pantera Cover Art

Anselmo said this song was about two of his friends who committed suicide but the song may be interpreted in different ways - all they funeral though.

15 Love's Tragedy Asunder - Demons & Wizards Love's Tragedy Asunder - Demons & Wizards Cover Art

Another amazing power ballad by Demons & Wizards who seem to be funeral ballads experts.
It's about a man whose wife is terminally ill, and he assists her suicide, and ends up killing himself.

"Dead leaves to dust, the seasons bloom
A glimpse of Heaven showed an angel cry
Tenfold the cries of Crack of Doom

Love's tragedy asunder
Wanted peace for me
Love's tragedy asunder
Will I be free".

16 Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton Cover Art

Made by Eric Clapton when his 4 year old son died, a tearworthy song about loosing someone and never being able to see that one person again. One of the most tragic songs ever and its clearly one of the sadest songs ever.

'' Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven, would it be the same if I saw you in heaven. ''

17 Landslide - Fleetwood Mac Landslide - Fleetwood Mac Cover Art

This song made me cry when it appeared on the show South Park. This song is about, as always, loosing someone and the fear of changing completly due to the loss.

'' And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills, well the landslide will bring you down.''

18 Nutshell - Alice in Chains Nutshell - Alice in Chains Cover Art

A beautiful song indeed.

19 Musical Death (A Dirge) - Testament Musical Death (A Dirge) - Testament Cover Art
20 Electric Funeral - Black Sabbath Electric Funeral - Black Sabbath Cover Art

One of the heaviest songs ever

21 My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion Cover Art
22 Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel Cover Art

I could have gone with sound of silence or the boxer but this chilling song has a very strict message. Its about someone who have lost everything and that's the exact feeling you get when you've lost someone close. Its about moving on, and the chorus is really teardripping.

'' Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down''

This is a beautiful and uplifting song about friendship and real love. About giving from the heart, someone promising to be there for another. I don't see where it has much to do with funerals

23 The Weight - The Band The Weight - The Band Cover Art

A song about a man on his deathbed, fearing bouth hell and heaven, all he wants is just some rest.
The song is chilling if you understand the message, may be bit to high tempo in the chorus but its very emotional.
'' I pulled into nazareth, was feeling about half past dead, I just need some place where I can lay my head.''

24 Over the Hills, and Far Away - Led Zeppelin Over the Hills, and Far Away - Led Zeppelin Cover Art
25 Into the West - Annie Lennox Into the West - Annie Lennox Cover Art
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